Ecuador Attractions: Quito
It is located at the Ecuadorian House of Culture in Quito and covers an extension of approximately 800 square meters, with over 1800 pieces on exhibit. It shows the evolution of the cultures that developed in Ecuador in pre-Columbian times.
The Archaelogical Museum is the product of a rigorous selection from the vast collection which is the property of the Central Bank. The pieces exhibited correspond to the period between 4000 BC (the oldest piece) and 1534 (the arrival of the Spanish Conquers to Ecuador).
These vestiges, conceived by anonymous and skilled hands, represent the origin of the Ecuadorian nation. The study and viewing of them show us a past that is still present and the deep roots of Ecuador as a country.
For a better panoramic view of the pre-Columbian period, and to allow an encounter with our origins, visitors are guided along a chronological corridor, complemented by illustrative dioramas with artistic renditions of the daily life of the ancient cultures, and the Hall of Gold.
The chronological corridor shows the most representative pieces of each period, together with a detailed explanation of the characteristics of each, and of the culture that developed during this time.
The periods are as follows:
Paleo-Indian 6000-4000 BC defined by activities of hunting, fishing and recollection of food.
Formative 4000-600 BC defined by the appearance of agriculture, the building of permanent and solid home structures, communal cemeteries, use of stone implements and complex funeral ceremonies.
Regional Development 300 BC to 600 AD during this period the primitive societies stratified, there was intense commerce with other geographic areas in what is now Ecuador and with other regions of Central America. Religious ceremonies were monopolized by the chaste (class) of shamans.
Integration 600-1534 AD characterized by the concentrations of power in one in one individual, the curaca, and a rigid social stratification. Agriculture flourished with the system of terraces.
The illustrative dioramas correspond to the cultures of Real Alto, Las Vegas, La Tolita, Valdivia, Cochasquí and Cotocollao, and show in detail the architecture of the ceremonial centers and religious practices performed in them. These dioramas are the product of years of research by the archaeologists of the Central Bank in the original sites.
Hall of Gold:
The Hall of Gold presents an exhaustive synthesis of the most precious legacy of magnificence and grandeur. In Ecuador as in all the pre-Colombian Andean world, the principal manifestation of power, hierarchy and wealth was the brilliance of gold and other precious metals.
On display are masks, nose pendants, rings, earrings and ornaments in gold and platinum, as well as artifacts of everyday use such as golden needles, fish hooks and depilatory tweezers.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito
Many styles converge in the construction of the Cathedral: late Gothic in the arches, Moorish in the ceilings, Baroque in the main altar and Neoclassic at the choir. The Cathedral houses masterpieces of colonial art like the “Descent of Christ from the Cross” by Caspicara and the central painting of the Ascencion of the Virgin by Manuel Samaniego. The remains of Mariscal Sucre, a hero of Ecuador’s Independence are guarded at the Cathedral.
Church of La Compañia De Jesus
Just as the church was finished in 1766, King Carlos III of Spain decreed the expulsion of the Jesuits from the colonies in America, so the church remained closed and deteriorated until the Jesuits finally came back to Ecuador in 1862. La Compañía is a copy of the Jesuit church of Saint Ignatius in Rome, of baroque style. The church is a magnificent example of the extraordinary artistic ability of Ecuadorian artisans, which can be seen in the intricately carved altars completely covered with gold leaf, with sculptures of the Holy Trinity in the Main altar and Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis in the side altars by Legarda. This is one of the richest and most magnificent temples of South America. La Compañía was recently re-opened after an unfortunate fire occurred in 1996 while repair work was being done.
Church of San Francisco
The imposing Church and Monastery of San Francisco is reached from the plaza of the same name via a beautiful stone round staircase and atrium. The inside is mostly Baroque with a rich Moorish coffered ceiling, gold leaf altars with ornaments made of silver and mirrors. The main figure is the winged “Virgin of Quito” by Legarda. This is one of the oldest churches of the city, founded by Franciscan Priests from Belgium who founded the first schools of art, music and dance in Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian Folklore Ballet Jacchigua, invites you to share a cultural dream which was made real with the production and direction of Rafael Camino.
The Quichua term JACCHIGUA means the infinite joy of the harvest, and this is how the Ecuadorian Folklore Ballet JACCHIGUA gathers the richness of our popular culture, showing the world the ancestral traditions and customs of Ecuador, a pluricultural, multiethnic and plurilingual country.
Ninety dancers, musicians, technicians and social investigators put their knowledge and artistic sensibility on the stage, creating these choreographies to show the past and present splendor of the peoples of Ecuador.
In order to safe keep the ancestral designs, textures and colors, and after a study of the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th, dresses, costumes and ethnical elements were gathered and used in the different choreographies of this Ballet. They were made by artisans and rescued from the mestizo acculturization. Some of the dances featured are:
Traditions of the Saraguros: The Saraguros, originally from Bolivia and Peru, were brought to the south of Ecuador -the province of Loja- by the Incas. This dance shows the process of blending of cultures at the time of the conquistadors, represented by the following segments:
The Offerings: The women dress up and take offerings of flowers to church, at seven in the morning; thus, when they die, they will enter heaven.
The Guiquis o Monkeys: Are popular in the fiestas of the communities. They put humor with their jokes, high spirits and grace.
The Dancers of Gañil: Symbolize the natural force and bravery of the animal, represented by men.
The Hat Dance: The sombrero is the testimony of the ancestors and the witness to future generations. It represents the cultural and ethnic value of the dresses.
The deer hunt: The deer, lords of the Andean moorlands, battle over the female, ignoring that men are watching and chasing, in search of their skin and exquisite meat. This choreography represents the deer hunt and the celebration of the capture by the communities of Chimborazo.
Poem to life: The calm and crystalline waters, the enveloping reeds and the backdrop of the sacred mountain Taita Imbabura, inspire the native woman to immerse in Lake San Pablo hoping that her dreams for the future will flourish. This is a ritual of love and femininity.
Packages[tours-start] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/live-quito.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Live Quito Like a Local” intro=”A day dedicated to exploring the lives, beliefs, cuisine and traditions of Old Town Quito, the first city named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, and a revelation to many people. The tour is all about ‘living Quito like a local’, visiting shops, exploring markets, meeting local herbal healers, wandering the streets, learning skills from artisans, and enjoying a lunch of great Ecuadorian cooking at the sophisticated Casa Gangotena hotel.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/live-quito-local”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/95.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon” intro=”For this specially-designed itinerary, we have teamed up with the number one name in chocolate in Ecuador: award-winning Pacari Chocolate (www.pacarichocolate.com). Guests will experience the finest chocolate while exploring a fascinating and biodiverse region in Ecuador – and all relatively close to the capital, Quito. The Ecuadorian Amazon was recently proved to be the birthplace of the cacao tree – not Central America! The itinerary includes birdwatching, a visit to working cacao farms, overnight at a magical rainforest lodge and a refreshing stop at an Andean thermal spring spa on the way back located between Cayambe Volcano and Antisana Volcano.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/amazon/journey-source-chocolate-amazon-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Quito_SanFrancisco-Church.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Quito and the Middle of the World (4½ hours, daily)” intro=”Visit Quito’s historic centre and then travel to the Equator Monument, with lunch in a nice restaurant in the area.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/quito-middle-of-the-world-4hrs-private-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MT-108-Quito.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Quito Cultural Heritage” intro=”A full-day immersion into the spirit of the city, its architecture, art, cuisine, religious fervour and music: its cultural heritage.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/quito-cultural-heritage-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/66.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Scenic Tour of Quito, 3 hours, daily” intro=”A visit to Quito’s rejuvenated historic centre to relish this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/3hrs-scenic-tour-quito”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MT-116-Quito.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Scenic Quito Tour & Archaeology Museum, 4 hours, daily, except Monday” intro=”A visit to Quito’s historic centre to relish this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Plus the archaeology museum Casa del Alabado.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/scenic-quito-tour-archaeology-museum-4hrs-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1111.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Quito, a journey through art and history” intro=”Experience the ancient, historic and contemporary treasures that make Quito an extra special destination for art enthusiasts.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/quito-journey-through-art-and-history-private-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/104.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Panoramic Quito by night and dinner 3 hours, nightly” intro=”A tour to Quito’s historic quarters, romantic plazas and impressive public and religious buildings. Quito is particularly splendid in the evening when illumination adds a special drama and mystery to its baroque architecture.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/panoramic-quito-night-and-dinner-3hrs-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/76.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Quito & the Middle of the World plus lunch, 6 hours, daily” intro=”Visit Quito’s historic centre and then travel to the Equator Monument, with lunch in a nice restaurant in the area.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/quito-middle-of-the-world-6hrs-tour-plus-lunch”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MT-126-Quito.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”The Middle of the World (3 hours, daily)” intro=”The Equatorial Monument, 25 km (16 miles) north of Quito, marks the Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/middle-of-the-world-3hrs-private-tour”] [tour img=”/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MT-134.jpg” alt=”Quito” title=”Tulipe: Ancient Sun Culture, full day with lunch, Wednesday to Sunday” intro=”Travel via the Equator to the cloudforests northwest of Quito to learn about the intriguing cultures that inhabited the area and erected the archaeological site called Tulipe.” readmoreurl=”/ecuador/quito-tours/tulipe-ancient-sun-culture-full-day-lunch”] [tours-end]
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